Cork Oak Tree, Odemira, Portugal by Paulo Bizarro

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Picture Story

This photo was taken one early morning in February this year, while driving to Santa Clara a Velha dam, in the region of Odemira, southwest Portugal. This is a typical countryside road, that crosses successive rolling hills dotted with farms and cork oak trees. I have photographed this location several times before, because it is picturesque. There is a dirt road that leads to the farmhouse in the top of the hill, surrounded by very old cork oak trees, which are one of the icons of this region.

Since I was driving to the starting point of a local walking trail, initially I had no plans to stop while en route. However, after passing the town of Odemira, I noticed the countryside was covered in fog; the morning was cold, and the proximity of the river Mira was probably helping in causing such a misty weather.

I immediately thought of stopping in this location and checking for potentially interesting and unusual photos. So, I parked on the berm of the road, grabbed my camera and tripod, and walked up the dirt road towards the house and the trees. I framed one of the trees against the receding field and the farmhouse at the top of the hill. I made a few photos but decided on this one, taken from a lower angle to enhance the ramifying branches against the fog.

After this brief stop, I went to the car and resumed my journey. I was confident that I had grabbed an interesting photo, which I confirmed a few days later when processing the RAW file. I decided to convert the file to black and white, to emphasize the shape of the tree and the mood of that cold and foggy morning.


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